When making technology investment decisions, life sciences companies must fight against the tendency to focus on maintaining, upgrading and patching what they already have versus the benefits to be gained from moving to a platform that meets today's more demanding requirements.
Granted, organizations have invested significant resources in their commercial operations infrastructures to support customer relationship management, closedloop marketing, business intelligence and performance management, incentive compensation, sales force effectiveness, and so forth. Unfortunately, they are often working with a combination of applications that have been deployed in piecemeal fashion to support isolated work streams, and in some cases, with legacy systems that are becoming obsolete.
If one had the luxury of standing up a commercial technology platform from scratch (as emerging biotech companies do), one would demand native interoperability across applications, particularly those that deal in customer information or relate to the customer experience. When tools and resources are designed to work together across functions, processes are streamlined, data integrity is ensured, and internal stakeholders access “one version of the truth” from a central data repository. Such an orchestrated approach to the commercial ecosystem becomes a strategic differentiator in allowing a customer-centric approach. However, starting from scratch is unrealistic for most organizations.
How can companies that have invested in a commercial ecosystem with fragmented applications and information silos move toward an orchestrated commercial ecosystem that puts customers at the center? The challenge is akin to keeping a train that is filled to capacity moving down the track while simultaneously laying new track and swapping out all of the train compartments. The following paper offers practical guidance on how to do just that.